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NFL Rivera wants Panthers to play in Charlotte on Sunday

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes his team should face the Minnesota Vikings as scheduled in the NFL.

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The Carolina Panthers plan on playing host to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday as scheduled.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Thursday it was important for the game to go on as planned to bring normalcy to a city torn apart by civil unrest following the shooting of a black man by a police officer.

Protests that began on Tuesday turned violent the following day as the Charlotte Hornets team store and NASCAR Hall of Fame were among businesses looted and vandalised.

"I think we should play the football game here," Rivera said.

"I was in San Diego when they had the fires. I know it's different to a degree, but playing the game helped to bring some normalcy. I think that's what people are looking for.

"We're in a state of emergency. It's unfortunate, but I think there are certain elements right now that are driving the situation.

"I think there's a group of people that want to protest the right way. They want a peaceful protest. They want to make their point.

"But unfortunately there are some agitators that have an agenda and want to do it their way, and it's not the right way.

"Once things can get settled down, do it the way Chief [Kerr] Putney's trying to do and Mayor [Jennifer] Roberts is trying to do, I think this city can get back to who she is.”

Before Rivera met with reporters, tight end Greg Olsen and linebacker Thomas Davis said emotions ran high Wednesday as they watched the rioting on television.

"It's pretty sad and disheartening to think that this is going on right here in Charlotte," Davis said.

"Knowing how great of a city Charlotte is, knowing that me and my wife made the decision to live in Charlotte because of the low crime rate and knowing that it would be a great place to raise our family, it's very disheartening that we and the city are going through this right now."

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